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Tattooed Woman
Tattooed People
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Seth gives an overview of the book:

The tattooed couple live below us on the hill, on a street parallel to ours. Our balcony overlooks their small back yard from three floors above. I watch them sometimes. They're the kind of people you notice.
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The tattooed couple live below us on the hill, on a street parallel to ours. Our balcony overlooks their small back yard from three floors above. I watch them sometimes. They're the kind of people you notice.

Read an excerpt »

The tattooed couple live below us on the hill, on a street parallel to ours. Our balcony overlooks their small back yard from three floors above. I watch them sometimes. They're the kind of people you notice.

He's got big muttonchop sideburns and tattoos all over his arms. On the weekends, when he wears shorts, I see the tattoos on his legs, on his calves and wrapped around his ankles. From where I am, I imagine Celtic symbols curling around his biceps, intertwined with drawings of maidens and people's names. He seems like the kind to have a magic mushroom somewhere in it all.

The woman is big and pale and looks filled with some liquid, something that makes her wobble when she moves. But she dresses punk rock and she has tattoos on her arms and one on her chest that shows above her shirt, a big, round one that looks like a sun. When she wears her hair pulled into buns, one below each ear, I can see a tattoo above her shoulders, a round, dark mark on her neck. Usually, she wears a shirt with draw-ties, open in the back. I can see the skin there is pale and untouched, except for a dark tattooed diamond on her left side, on the left side of her back. I wonder if she has something there on her front too, as if something ran through her and her heart.

The two of them have a girl, a baby close to my Emily's age, pale and chubby like her mother, with folds of skin around her body, especially at the elbows and knees.

They play with her when I'm alone on the balcony, usually when I've come back from a run and am cooling off, or when I'm rocking Emily to sleep in my arms, or sometimes if I'm done feeding her and don't have a book to read, or she's asleep. It's usually just me and her out there, is my point. I don't know why I watch them, maybe because they're moving, or because they're people. I suppose they can see me, could be aware of me all the time I sit there, watching, but they don't seem to notice. It could be because I'm up so high. For all anybody would think, I should be watching the big view of the sky over their house and the hills beyond the trees that recede into the distance, behind the expensive Arlington houses; any normal person would watch the clouds moving and the sunset getting ready to happen and then slowly happening in red and orange and gold, out over the green hills and the cell phone tower in the distance.

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Seth

SETH HARWOOD grew up in the Boston area, graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2002 and currently lives in Berkeley, CA with his wife Joelle and their dog. He teaches writing and literature at the City College of San Francisco and Chabot College...

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Published Reviews

Mar.20.2009

Jack Wakes Up Seth Harwood. Three Rivers, $13.95 paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-307-45435-5
Readers who like their hard-boiled crime fiction violent and gritty will cheer Harwood's debut. An arrest for...